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Financial Aid & Employment Policies

Nearly all full-time graduate students in the Department receive some form of financial aid. The Department offers teaching and research assistantships, and tuition scholarships.

Prospective students are encouraged to seek external fellowships. Frequently it is possible to combine such fellowships with partial assistantships if the fellowship stipend is less than that offered by the Department.

We have a strong commitment to quality instruction. Graduate students who take on the responsibility of a teaching assistantship make it possible for the Department to successfully fulfill its teaching responsibilities. Therefore, we encourage and support the efforts of our graduate students to become effective teachers. However, we are careful not to overload graduate students with teaching duties. Teaching assistants conduct recitation sections and grade papers under the supervision of a faculty member. Occasionally, graduate students who have demonstrated their teaching ability may be assigned their own course during the academic year.

Students on assistantships may accept summer employment and those who choose to accept any type of employment in any other Department of the University must have Departmental authorization. There are a number of teaching positions available within the Department during the summer. Students employed by, or receiving other financial aid from, the Department of Mathematical Sciences are required to be on campus during the regular academic year. Vacations should be taken between semesters or during mid-term breaks.

To prepare new graduate students for their teaching responsibilities at Carnegie Mellon and for possible academic careers, the following two seminars are offered each year:

21-605 Teaching Mathematics
Fall, 2 units

This seminar is required of first-time teaching assistants. Topics discussed are: getting started the first day, how to help students learn, lecturing, and grading. Each new teaching assistant is videotaped, and her or his performance is reviewed.

21-606 Mathematics Course Design
Spring, 1 unit

This seminar treats syllabus writing, lecturing, test design and homework assignments. The seminar is a prerequisite for students interested in teaching their own course.

For more information, see the Carnegie Mellon page on Graduate Financial Aid.